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Displaying items by tag: Morgan Oliver

A tribute to the Oliver fishermen of Galway’s Claddagh and all those who have lost lives at sea is reflected in a moving short film spearheaded by arts consultant Brendan Savage.

Entitled Sea of Souls, the film captures images of 600 floating candles on the Claddagh basin, set to the music of The Galway Baytones male voice a capella group singing the 18th-century Scottish song The Parting Glass.

The film is intended to remember the Olivers and all sea fatalities, and to highlight the role of the Galway RNLI inshore lifeboat and Water Safety Ireland.

Savage, who is from the Claddagh, lost his own father in a trawler sinking, and says he was overwhelmed with sadness when father and son Martin and Tom Oliver lost their lives within 24 hours of each other after an incident in Galway Bay in early November.

The two men were close relatives of fishermen Patrick and Morgan Oliver who have been involved in a number of rescues, including locating the two paddleboarders, Sara Feeney and Ellen Glynn, after they went missing off Furbo last August.

“When you lose someone to the sea, it changes your relationship with the sea forever, and sadly I understand that that is like,” Savage explains.

His father Tom Savage (59) died when the trawler he was crew member of was sunk by a container ship under San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge almost three decades ago.

“One Russian crew member survived, but my father and his skipper did not - and the skipper’s body was never found,” Savage says.

“As a child, I was taught that on stormy nights a candle was placed in the window to guide home the souls of those lost at sea,” he says.

Shortly before Christmas, he recruited a group of volunteers to help assemble 600 floating candles, timed to light up every evening for five hours.

He then secured the support of Heavy Man Films to document it for a video which is now available to view on YouTube.

Savage said a large number of individuals and businesses supported the initiative, including Galway City Council arts officer James Harrold and Water Safety Ireland deputy chief executive Roger Sweeney.

Peter Connolly and members of Badóirí an Cladaigh helped set up the elaborate candle display, and also illuminated their vessels berthed in the Claddagh basin.

Dr Brendan O’Connor of Aquafact conducted the environmental impact study, Tripart Hardware contributed equipment and many individuals also gave of their time.

“There was a lot of tying string, working with glue, securing the candles to a rope, and helping out with some 8,000 different tasks in all,” Savage says.

“It was a very affirming project for that reason, and the Baytones came down to sing on a cold wet winter’s night,” he says.

Roger Sweeney of Water Safety Ireland said that the 600 candles had particular symbolism, representing some half of the number of fatalities in Irish waters over a decade.

It is anticipated that the initiative may become an annual event with floating candles raising funds for the RNLI and Water Safety Ireland, he says.

Sea of Souls can be viewed below

Published in Galway Harbour

Galway Port & Harbour

Galway Bay is a large bay on the west coast of Ireland, between County Galway in the province of Connacht to the north and the Burren in County Clare in the province of Munster to the south. Galway city and port is located on the northeast side of the bay. The bay is about 50 kilometres (31 miles) long and from 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) to 30 kilometres (19 miles) in breadth.

The Aran Islands are to the west across the entrance and there are numerous small islands within the bay.

Galway Port FAQs

Galway was founded in the 13th century by the de Burgo family, and became an important seaport with sailing ships bearing wine imports and exports of fish, hides and wool.

Not as old as previously thought. Galway bay was once a series of lagoons, known as Loch Lurgan, plied by people in log canoes. Ancient tree stumps exposed by storms in 2010 have been dated back about 7,500 years.

It is about 660,000 tonnes as it is a tidal port.

Capt Brian Sheridan, who succeeded his late father, Capt Frank Sheridan

The dock gates open approximately two hours before high water and close at high water subject to ship movements on each tide.

The typical ship sizes are in the region of 4,000 to 6,000 tonnes

Turbines for about 14 wind projects have been imported in recent years, but the tonnage of these cargoes is light. A European industry report calculates that each turbine generates €10 million in locally generated revenue during construction and logistics/transport.

Yes, Iceland has selected Galway as European landing location for international telecommunications cables. Farice, a company wholly owned by the Icelandic Government, currently owns and operates two submarine cables linking Iceland to Northern Europe.

It is "very much a live project", Harbourmaster Capt Sheridan says, and the Port of Galway board is "awaiting the outcome of a Bord Pleanála determination", he says.

90% of the scrap steel is exported to Spain with the balance being shipped to Portugal. Since the pandemic, scrap steel is shipped to the Liverpool where it is either transhipped to larger ships bound for China.

It might look like silage, but in fact, its bales domestic and municipal waste, exported to Denmark where the waste is incinerated, and the heat is used in district heating of homes and schools. It is called RDF or Refuse Derived Fuel and has been exported out of Galway since 2013.

The new ferry is arriving at Galway Bay onboard the cargo ship SVENJA. The vessel is currently on passage to Belem, Brazil before making her way across the Atlantic to Galway.

Two Volvo round world races have selected Galway for the prestigious yacht race route. Some 10,000 people welcomed the boats in during its first stopover in 2009, when a festival was marked by stunning weather. It was also selected for the race finish in 2012. The Volvo has changed its name and is now known as the "Ocean Race". Capt Sheridan says that once port expansion and the re-urbanisation of the docklands is complete, the port will welcome the "ocean race, Clipper race, Tall Ships race, Small Ships Regatta and maybe the America's Cup right into the city centre...".

The pandemic was the reason why Seafest did not go ahead in Cork in 2020. Galway will welcome Seafest back after it calls to Waterford and Limerick, thus having been to all the Port cities.

© Afloat 2020

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